Adventure Sports To Try Before You Die
Ready to feel your pulse racing? From volcano boarding to cave diving, bungee jumping to kitesurfing, we’ve put together 8 adrenaline pumping adventure sports to try before you die and the stunning destinations that go with it.
Pioneered by an Australian traveller in León, Nicaragua, volcano boarding is the art of zooming down the face of an active volcano on a reinforced plywood toboggan. Using your heels to brake and steer, it’s possible to clock speeds of up to 90km/hr. That’s after you’ve hiked up the volcano, of course. Head to Leon’s Big Foot Hostel to try out volcano boarding.
Freshwater cave diving
Ocean scuba is extreme enough for some, but descending into a hole in the earth to explore a submerged cave system is next-level stuff. Stalactites are usually the big draw. Head to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula has the world’s largest concentration of cenotes (sinkholes). Fringed by lush jungle, its crystal-clear turquoise pools are idyllic.
Heli-skiing or boarding
Using a whirlybird to access untouched terrain, heli-skiing is quite technical, and you’ll get more bang (or in this case, powder) for your buck if you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder.
Widely banned in Europe, heli-skiing is popular in North America and New Zealand. Alaska’s Chugach Mountains boast some of the world’s deepest, softest powder. Visit Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, a luxury lodge near Anchorage, to learn from some of the best backcountry ski guides in the world. Dreamy views of Denali and volcanic summits sure don’t hurt either.
Another Kiwi invention, zorbing (also known as sphereing, orbing and globe-riding) is the act of rolling down a hill in a transparent plastic ball. Opt to zorb solo, with friends, and/or with water — all in the name of fun. The original zorb company is based in Rotorua, but you’ll find outfits all over the world. Try it in Hatta, Dubai.
Inspired by Vanuatu’s ritualistic land divers, the modern sport of diving off a ledge while attached to a safety cord was popularised by Kiwi entrepreneur AJ Hackett.
Hackett-owned Macau Tower boasts the world’s highest commercial jump point (233m), but the original Kawarau Bridge Bungy in Queenstown (43m) and Victoria Falls Bungee in Zambia (111m) are more scenic.
Proponents call this evolution of tightrope walking, in which participants manoeuvre across a strip of nylon held taut between two anchor points just above the ground. It might not look particularly extreme, but it’s very tough (and great core exercise).
Particularly agile? Look into slacklining yoga across the USA with YogaSlackers. Super adventurous? Try highlighting in Joshua Tree National Park in California. Or simply DIY with your own slackline (shop online at Gibbon Slacklines).
Originating in Gloucester, England, in the 15th century, this injury-prone activity sees participants charge down a steep hill in pursuit of a round of cheese. Gloucester’s annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling is the world’s largest competition.
Northern Europeans have been partial to an icy dip between sauna sessions for centuries, but the more modern International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) deems an official ice swim as a one-mile swim in water below 5°C while wearing a standard swimming costume.
It’s popular in the UK, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Russia, France, USA, and the Netherlands. If you want to make your first solo swim official, register your witnessed attempt with the IISA.
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